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Arrested Neo-Nazis Confess To Getting Pay from Kiev To Assassinate Journalists

July 15, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) today stated that, along with the Interior Ministry and Investigative Committee, yesterday they had arrested “neo-Nazis from the Paragraph 88 group who were gathering information at the work and home addresses of Simonyan and Sobchak,” referring to Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT news agency and Ksenia Sobchak is a former Russian presidential candidate, a well-known journalist, a close associate of Vladimir Putin, and the daughter of a former St. Petersburg mayor. And “88” is a standard symbol for neo-Nazis, referring to the 8th letter of the alphabet, hence “HH,” for “Heil Hitler.” FSB said some half-dozen individuals were detained.

The FSB statement explained: “The detainees confirmed that they were preparing assassinations on the instructions of the Security Service of Ukraine for a reward of 1.5 million rubles ($16,600) for each murder.” They were detained as they were carrying out reconnaissance at the home and work locations of their victims, Simonyan and Sobchak. According to RT, the statement went on to describe that, during the operation, law enforcement seized a Kalashnikov assault rifle with 90 cartridges, rubber hoses, knives, brass knuckles and handcuffs, along with “computers with information confirming criminal intentions.” Further, Russian law enforcement confiscated chevrons, flags, Nazi paraphernalia, Nazi literature, and communications equipment.

Today, RT Editor-in-Chief Simonyan commented: “The most important thing I want to say is that there are things worse than death. Dishonor is worse than death; treason is worse than death ... living with a feeling that you had done something irredeemable is worse than death.” She added that she would like those arrested to understand that and have enough time to rectify their mistakes and start their life anew. Commenting on video footage released by the FSB of an 18-year-old suspect who confessed to organizing a neo-Nazi group and getting paid by Ukrainian intelligence, she said: “I am very sorry that an 18-year-old boy ... got brainwashed in such a way ... that he decided that caring for his people is compatible to taking money for the Ukrainian intelligence to kill opinion leaders in his own country.”

The arrests are the latest in a pattern of cases that point to Kiev authorities, particularly the SBU and the GUR military intelligence. In April, it was reported that six alleged members of the banned terrorist group National Socialism/White Power were arrested on suspicion of preparing an assassination attempt on the prominent Russian journalist Vladimir Solovyov. The investigation reported that the assassins were also acting on behalf of the SBU. Earlier in April, Ukrainian operatives murdered Russian military blogger Maxim Fomin (aka Vladen Tatarsky) in St. Petersburg in a bomb attack and in August 2022, Ukrainians planted a bomb in the car of journalist Darya Dugina, killing her in Moscow.

When Kiev’s authorities, including the “Center for Countering Disinformation” working under the Office of the President, declared that publicly disagreeing with Kiev makes that person an “information terrorist,” to be treated as an enemy combatant, those who believe in freedom of speech should take them seriously.

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